An organization’s efficient operation relies on the proper functioning of its Assets. Whether using manpower or an automated work environment, Assets require attention. Neglect or carelessness is detrimental. The operational tasks constantly require Assets. Whether the Assets are in use, lying as spares, in repair or are in an idle condition – they all have to be documented in an Asset Management System.
Keeping assets unaccounted is a futile effort, dependency on human supervision does not guarantee that it would not falter. It requires a robust system which works by first registering the category of Asset and then at which location or sub location it is deployed; then who is an assigned user for such asset either as a maintainer or as a user; and what’s the condition of the Asset whether that’s brand new, refurbished, or its unusable; status of such asset should also be recorded whether it’s in use, in stock or gone for repair.
With a combination of these inputs, an Asset record should be ensured into the register. This register, in turn, will help in building activity schedules. The scheduled activities are very crucial, as a generic human dependent approach might not record everything.
There’s a high chance of something to be missed, something to be not dealt with appropriately. Rather an Asset Management System with its automated capabilities enhances the overall schedules.
Alerts are thrown, records are created, stakeholders are accounted for, the frequency is set, next actionable date is marked and above all it records everything leaving no chance of tempering or mismanagement. Now what may seem difficult becomes system driven.
All assets have been marked according to their categories, the organization knows where they are located, who’s the one they are with, what’s their condition and status. These schedules, when linked to specific assets, define the period when an activity should happen, who’s supposed to do it, by what date is to be done, how many data prior a reminder should come, whether that’s a single occurrence or multiple repetitions, any files that are relevant to the activity like invoice, workshop manual, instructions can be attached with it.
The Asset Management System should also provide more powerful tools to the organization by allowing additional custom feeds in the scheduled activity which allow them to capture and record crucial details that are important for them. The system should also notify what are the pending activities for better accountability.
In times of mobility, the notifications should be connected to handheld devices as well. So, the Asset Management System should also be provided as a web interface, on IOS and Android platforms as an App.
Coming back to the times when breakdowns were unforeseen, unpredictable, unmanageable and unaccountable; but times now have changed. Asset Management Systems these days are designed to predict the unpredictable, manage the unmanageable and amount of the unaccounted.
With the help of the system preventive maintenance, activities can be scheduled keeping in mind the frequency which could either be dependent on usage or time period. Such preventive maintenance keeps the wheels oiled. As it’s said prevention is better than cure, so a preventive schedule makes sure that the breakdowns never happen again. Or if they are not preventable fully, at least the turn-around time should be such that makes the organization well prepared.
The Asset Management System helps in another way by providing a complaint management system. With the help of such a system, complaints can be logged either linking them to an Asset or otherwise. The specific location can be mentioned where such an issue has arisen. The complaint when logged should be assignable to the appropriate usage group who’ll be able to address and rectify the same. It should have named users who’ll take responsibility to address it. It should also mention who are raising such complaint when they are raising it also becomes important to calculate the period by which it should be addressed. Even a self-assessed priority helps.
Also, detailed description field would help in a long way to understand what’s the actual fault. Files could be uploaded containing last records, any part details and even a photo clicked from the mobile showing the trouble.
In case any known inventory items are required the system could help by allowing the objector to mention what all might be required and in how much quantity.
So, the preventive maintenance scheduled activity and the complaint management system’s ticket help increasing the turn-around time of such breakdowns. Also, the system should help by creating schedules for Annual Maintenance Contracts, General Maintenance, Physical Inspection, shutdowns, and Calibrations. They all make the organization run its Assets in a better way, the system not only alerts, but it also documents, creates empathy, sense of accountability between the man and the machine.